IS40880 Communication Theory

Academic Year 2023/2024

What is communication? How and why do we study it?
This module introduces students to basic concepts and issues in classic and current theories of communication across the humanities, social and information sciences. It explores both human and mediated communication in interpersonal, group, organisational, intercultural and mass communication contexts. It covers the breadth of theoretical perspectives on and traditions in communication theory as a systemic, social and psychological process through which individuals create and interpret meanings. Students will develop a solid grounding in theory and learn to critically review the conceptual foundations and dominant assumptions informing this interdisciplinary field.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Student will develop a

1. Familiarity with the history of the development of communication theory
2. Knowledge of a range of theories, models and concepts in communication theory and their relevance to research and practice
3. Ability to recognise and articulate structures, processes and semantic aspects of communication
4. Strong foundation in communication theory to support further media modules

Indicative Module Content:

Communication theory foundations
Social Psychology of communication
Mass communication and media effects
Communication industries – cultural and commercial
Semiotics & Representation
Audience & Reception theories
Technology & theory: Social Construction, Technological Determinism
Intercultural communication
Hegemony & Critical Theory
The public sphere
Globalization and Network Society
Consumer culture and citizenship
Agendas and Frames
Moral Panic
Media and Power
Digital media history

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Class activities include lectures, debates, seminar presentations and critical reading of research papers. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Individual paper - Case study of communication in practice with theoretical and critical analysis Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Assignment: Online group discussion through Brightspace - group feedback Week 10 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

In class feedback will be delivered during the marking period post assessment. Individual feedback will be offered online and in person/by email where requested. A combination of self-assessment and peer review will be used for group discussion continuous assessment.

Name Role
Dr Marco Bastos Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Páraic Kerrigan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Eugenia Siapera Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Fri 15:00 - 16:50